I didn’t want to move to Colorado. Visiting was fine, but the stark landscape was so different from home. I was used to the lush greenery, rolling hills and winding rivers of the East Coast.
Nevertheless, God told us to go—and it was like scales fell from my eyes. Suddenly I saw vast, incomparable beauty everywhere, as if for the first time. It was filled with endless skies, stunning clouds, ever-changing vistas. Seven years later, I’m more in love than ever, constantly catching my breath and praising God for His intricately beautiful creation.
"All men were by nature foolish, who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing [God] who is, from studying the works did not discern the artisan" (Wisdom 13:1).
Likewise, when I met my future husband on the first day of basic training, I was unimpressed. We were polar opposites, and as Jane Austen aptly described, "I had not known [him] a month before I felt [he was] the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed upon to marry" (Pride & Prejudice p. 170).
But God grew both of our hearts and souls, and by graduation we were planning our future together. Twelve years into that future, I’m more in love than ever, constantly catching my breath and praising God for the intricately beautiful soul He has gifted me.
"For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen" (Wisdom 13:5).
So often we look but don’t truly see. We brush past the One behind every good, the Love Who breathed all of Creation into being. And we are most blinded when it comes to His most glorious Creation: humanity.
It’s easy, especially in contentious times, to strip others of their innate personhood in favor of seeing only opposites: age or appearance or creed or ideology. But what if we did the opposite? What if we looked past our first impressions to glimpse the Artisan’s image imprinted deeply in each soul?
I think we’d find ourselves surprised—catching our breath, and praising God for His intricately beautiful creation, right here in our lives, right in front of our eyes.
The USCCB offers insights into caring for God's glorious creation here.
Megan Hjelmstad is a wife and mom 24/7 and an Army Reservist in her “spare” time. She is the Stories Manager for the Blessed is She Instagram account. She’s a bibliophile, tea drinker, sleep lover, and avid admirer of Colorado’s great outdoors. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up. When the writing bug hits, you can find out more about her here.